September 3, 2002
Richard Dunn If ever a women's club champion stood tall on her home golf course, it was last year for Debbie Albright of Newport Beach Country Club in the Tea Cup Classic. Albright, after finishing second three times, captured the perpetual Tea Cup Classic trophy last year and celebrated on the 18th green with friends and family members, who swarmed to congratulate her in a memorable moment. Now, as she prepares for Tea Cup Classic VI on Wednesday at Santa Ana Country Club, Albright will be a first-time defending champion as she squares off against Olivia Slutzky of Big Canyon Country Club, Tea Cup newcomer Akemi Khaiat of Mesa Verde Country Club and three-time Tea Cup champion Marianne Towersey of host Santa Ana. Albright, who didn't return from vacation until a few days ago, has become a star at Newport Beach with her seven consecutive club titles.
November 21, 2002
They call themselves "The Tea House Gang." The gang, a confederation of real estate professionals that takes its name from a long-gone structure on Coast Highway resembling a "tea house," gathered together for its 2002 Tea House Party. Chairman Bob Howard reports that the event raised more than $100,000, all of which will be donated to the gang's charity of choice, Kidworks. This Orange County-based organization is headquartered in Santa Ana. Its mission is to provide inner-city youth with a positive living environment.
August 15, 2000
Richard Dunn The lasting memories of Tea Cup Classic IV are the special effects, like a high-tech movie, but only in this one it's easy on the eyes and soft on the ears. There are clear and distinct rooting sections for each club as members gallery to support their women's club champion in the Newport-Mesa community's decide-all shootout for an area golf queen. Marianne Towersey of Santa Ana Country Club continues to prove why this unique pocket of the world has such great golf and standout ladies.
February 3, 2000
Richard Dunn With a full Tea Cup Classic flavor at the inaugural Grand Champion of Champions, Debbie Albright of Newport Beach Country Club gave Orange County a taste of women's golf from the Newport-Mesa community. Not to gloat or anything, but Albright showed Monday at Los Coyotes Country Club in Buena Park what many of us have believed for years -- some of the best amateur golfers are right here in our backyard. Albright, four-time defending Newport Beach club champion who has played in all three Tea Cup Classics, won the showdown of the Orange County women's private club champions, an event co-sponsored by clubmaker Grand Golf Design and Golf Media Group.
August 10, 2002
If you haven't heard of the Tea House Gang, they are something like the show business Rat Pack, only they come from local Newport-Mesa real estate circles. Back in the 1960s, a gang of men, numbering some 50 guys who worked together in the Coldwell Banker commercial real estate office in Corona del Mar, banded together as the community was developing around them. There was no Fashion Island when the gang took its name from the architecture of the old Coldwell Banker office.
May 9, 2002
Richard Dunn Never got to officially wish Mesa Verde Country Club's Denise Woodard well after playing five straight years in the Tea Cup Classic. Woodard, who was dethroned as the six-time defending women's club champion last week by Akemi Khaiat, never won the Tea Cup, but was always a Classic. The spirited Woodard, the only grandmother and entrepreneur to play in the locals-only event for the four women's club champions in the Daily Pilot circulation, might have lost her reign (and parking spot)
July 21, 2003
Bryce Alderton Debbie Albright is taking a light-hearted approach to her golf game as Tea Cup VII approaches at 1 p.m. Friday at Mesa Verde Country Club. The New Zealand native, who won the Tea Cup in 2001, changed to a Henry Griffith-brand driver during the women's club championship at Newport Beach Country Club in May to fit with the rest of the clubs in her bag. The results speak for themselves. Albright won her eighth consecutive club crown by 11 shots, producing rounds of 85-82-80-77, for a 72-hole total of 324. "I was going through the change in drivers and I teed off on a few holes with the 5-wood," Albright recalled.
December 28, 2002
It was all about gingerbread house decorating as Harbor Island's glamorous New Jersey transplant Debbie Simon invited a few friends to holiday tea at Teddy Bears and Tea Cups on Balboa Island. The pre-Christmas ladies' afternoon on Balboa was actually a gathering of gals who are active members of Angels of the Arts, one of the premiere support groups of The Orange County Performing Arts Center. "It was just a simple little party where we all enjoyed a cup of tea and then individually decorated gingerbread houses.
July 12, 2001
Richard Dunn Once you win a club championship, that's it. You collect your trophy, buy a few rounds and go home. See ya next year. But, since the Tea Cup Classic was launched in 1997, club champions in the Daily Pilot circulation have earned a ticket into the locally famous event for women. "Once you win a club championship," said first-time Big Canyon Country Club champion Olivia Slutzky, "there's really no drama after winning it. So, now, it's great to look forward to this.
July 20, 2003
Tee time at Mesa Verde Country Club is on the horizon with the seventh Tea Cup Classic set for Friday, so guess where the attention focuses? That's right, our poster girl since the idea for a showdown of local women's club champions began, four-time champion Marianne Towersey of Santa Ana Country Club. She's been the favorite going in on every occasion, although this time around the home-court advantage may shake things up a little. We'll see. As for Marianne, whose schedule just about defies gravity at the age of 52, she says she's playing her best golf.